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Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Another Police Shooting

It's out on the Internet and it is inescapable.  The rough, shaky video of a law enforcement officer putting 7-8 bullets in the back of an unarmed man as he ran away.  It's horrifying, saddening, and frustrating all at once.  The senseless death of someone at the hands of law enforcement will certainly impact that community, and now, it has global reach because of the Internet.

Mark my words:  It won't be long until someone comes forward with a laundry list of criminal acts committed by the man who was killed, used as a justification for "thinning the herd."


It's a story we've seen in the past and these incidents are becoming increasingly common and to me, that's a terrifying specter to be facing down in this day and age.  Both sides of the political spectrum will use this murder in South Carolina will be aghast and outraged, resulting in a ton of blathering on and on, rather than addressing the problem and hunting down solutions.

Police officers are admittedly under an enormous amount of stress.  Day in and day out they face the criminal element and they witness things that fuel our most terrifying nightmares.  It's a tough job, and in most cases, they are morbidly underpaid and lack training.  Police officers do things every day that most of us cannot or will not do - and understandably so.  But one thing is certain:  This was not a "clean shoot."

One thing is important to remember here and will most likely be overlooked - Walter Scott allegedly grabbed the police officer's taser.  The officer claimed that he was in fear for his life at that moment.  That may be so, but 8 shots to the back of a fleeing suspect is, well, less than justified.  Walter Scott was pulled over by Officer Michael Slager for a broken tail light, but none of the videos show that.  Nor does it show Scott taking Slager's taser gun.  The court will decide whether or not they feel that Slager really did fear for his life, or if he was just another trigger-happy cop with a bad attitude.

Either way, everyone involved is going to feel pain of loss.  The family of the victim will no longer get to hear the sound of their loved one's voice, embrace or laugh with him.  He's gone forever.  Likewise, the officer's family will struggle, probably get the hell harassed out of them and end up living elsewhere.  There are no winners in this situation.  Here's a couple of preventative measures to address the problem.  I'm not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I think these are cost-effective alternatives to cities paying millions to victims of law enforcement douchebaggery and maybe, just maybe, civilians will learn that there are things you do and don't do when stopped by law enforcement.

1.  More training, improved hiring procedures for law enforcement.  Weed out the "bad apples" more effectively and the ones who are hired, should have at least annual training on what is or is not a clean shoot.  Perhaps psychological testing on an annual basis is needed as well.  Over the course of time, a police officer could become numb, desensitized to his/her surroundings.

2.  The public needs to know that no matter what, you have your rights and they should be respected, but running from law enforcement or trying to take a taser is never going to end well.  We have to teach this to our kids, to our communities, and it is a message that must be heard now rather than later.

If you listen to talk radio and you start to hear the host pop his/her top about Walter Scott, turn the channel.  Most of the national talk radio hosts haven't even had to wipe their own asses for decades, and like I said in a previous blog entry, these dick bags feed off of and promote an environment of fear and hatred.  You don't need to listen to that shit on a daily basis anyway, and where this case is concerned, unless the hosts are being perfectly objective, turn it to the FM band and listen to some music.

Of course, this is just my opinion and I could be wrong.  But I seriously doubt it.